3-Seed Fennel Slaw

3-seed slaw2

Truth time: I used to love me some KFC.

These days I don’t find myself at fast food restaurants that much…or at all. But as a pre-teen and teenager I was all about an extra-crispy meal with potato wedges and a biscuit. Ohhh the biscuits.

Between the heavily seasoned crunchy chicken and biscuit/potato double-carb-punch, the whole situation was near perfect for my 15-year-old palate. The one and only problem was that nasty little styrofoam container filled with mayo-laden, tasteless coleslaw. I just couldn’t get into it. I liked vegetables and salad (albeit less than fried chicken), but this was not that.

So I went along in life thinking of myself as an anti-slaw kind of lady; until one day it occurred to me that slaw could be made into something I could enjoy. I’m a total texture and crunch fan, so I knew we could make this work.

We could keep the cabbage and carrots aspect and add some fennel for gourmet flair, but we’d have to ditch that mayo business. In its place, we can use a Greek yogurt and vinegar-based dressing along with lots of seeds for tang and spice. (This method also works for eliminating mayo from tuna and egg salads.)

I’m bonkers for the fennel’s aniseed flavor and crunch and for the taste and texture of toasted sesame, fennel and cumin seeds. I like the lightness of the dressing and how it allows the spices and vegetables to shine through.

This is how we shall do slaw from this day forward in my house.

Bring on the (non-Kentucky) fried chicken. (Or veggie burgers.)

3-seed slaw 1

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Warm Red Cabbage and Corn Salad

In the past 7 days I:

  • Ate a silly amount of movie theater popcorn.
  • Ditto to mini Cadbury eggs. (Not the classic Cream Eggs, the milk chocolate ones with the crispy pastel-colored shell. Love.)
  • Wore workout clothes to run errands even though I wasn’t on the way to, nor coming back from working out. Sneakers paired with sweatpants make you look like a go-getter. Sweatpants with flip-flops make you look like a lazy college student. Fact.
  • Watched The Bachelor, Bring It On and Glee. (Not all on the same day. There would be no excuse for that.)

…I should also tell you that while I was watching that episode of Glee I was hula hooping pretty much the entire time. I don’t even like musicals. And I pretend hula hooping is exercise. I don’t know…

I am not particularly proud of these things, but I just felt like I should be completely… honest. About life.

Have I done anything redeeming this week?

  • I went to a Picasso exhibit (Culcha!)
  • We tried a new restaurant in Bondi.
  • I saw The Artist. (Silent movie! More culcha!)
  • I toasted a lot of coconut flakes and found various uses for them.

I also made this salad.

A good warm salad some how makes me feel better about my other, slightly shameful indulgences.

Balance. I think that’s what it’s all about. Get a dose of terrible reality television with a side of cubism. Wear your comfy clothes out in public when you’re grocery shopping, but put on a little pretty when you head out to dinner. Be 26 and buy yourself a hula hoop.

And leave a little room for some Easter-themed chocolate after the vibrant, crunchy, paprika-spiced salad.

Warm Red Cabbage and Corn Salad
(serves 4)
– 2 ears of corn, corn removed from the cob
– 1/2 red cabbage, shredded very thin
– 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
– 1 clove of garlic thinly sliced
– 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
– salt & pepper
– 1/2 teaspoon smokey paprika
– pinch of cayenne pepper
– 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
– 2 tablespoons toasted pepitas
– a handful of chopped coriander

In a large pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over a medium high heat. Add corn kernels and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until slightly golden, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil over a medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in paprika and cayenne.

Add cabbage and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring for about 2 minutes until the cabbage is just beginning to soften.

Combine cabbage with corn and let cool for 5 minutes.

Top with feta, pepitas and coriander and serve.

Two Ways With Red Cabbage

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I’ll admit, cabbage is not the most exciting of subjects. But I find red cabbage, with its vibrant purple color and crunch, fun to use. (Maybe my child-like love of bright colors is playing too big a roll in creating meals, but whatever. Eating the rainbow is good for you.)

I received half of a head of red cabbage last week in my veg delivery so I thought I would try out a couple of different recipes to share with you. Both were satisfying in different ways. The first way is fresh, zingy and light with lime juice and crunchy peanuts and the second is a warm savory-spicy affair.

You excited yet? Let’s not dawdle then. I present to you, red cabbage: two ways.

Red Cabbage, Apple, Lime and Peanut Slaw (serves 4 as a side)
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Lime and Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

1/4 of a large red cabbage, very thinly chopped or shredded
1 pink lady apple cut into matchsticks
2 handfuls of coriander chopped
1 jalapeno finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts

For dressing:
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Pour dressing ingredients over the mixture and toss well to combine. Top with chopped roasted peanuts to serve.

Just-Wilted Red Cabbage with Chorizo and Onion (serves 2)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small brown onion, diced
1/4 cup diced chorizo (I used cured chorizo because we had it in the fridge.)
1/4 of a red cabbage, shredded
1 teaspoon smokey paprika
salt&pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a pan. Cook chopped onion on a medium-high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes until it’s beginning to brown. Add chorizo and paprika and continue to cook for about 4 more minutes. (If you’re using fresh chorizo, cook a minute or two more until browned and crispy.)

Add shredded cabbage and bring the heat down to low. (You can add a tablespoon of water or two if the pan looks a little dry.) Cook covered for 5 to 6 minutes until cabbage has begun to wilt and soften but still retains a little crunch. Cook for 2 more minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.  Serve warm or at room temperature with a little fresh parsley or basil.

This one is even better if it sits in the fridge overnight – it softens and takes on more of the rich and spicy chorizo flavor.